Passing the Pharmacy Board Exam with a Bang





≥ 75% for that RPh title

This post  was 100% manufactured with the highest accuracy to that of CGMP standards for all dreamers out there, trying to hunt and own that coveted RPh title. The pharmacy profession in the Philippines is rising, by this, the effort of the Board of Pharmacy to increase the quality of  registered pharmacists it produces is definitely going along with the trend. In short, the competency of the Pharmacy Board Exams transformed into a little bit, shall we say, more  challenging than the usual.   

Based on the latest board exam results (January 27, 2016), The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announces that only 1,487 out of 2,710 passed the exams. That is 54.87% passing rate percentage. It is definitely lower than the 63.78% of July 2015 board exams in which the PRC announced that 2,004 out of 3,142 passed. And if we are also going to compare this year’s January to the previous one, 1, 292 out of 2,295 passed, a 56.37% passing rate.

It is never easy and will never be. That RPh title is an ass to work for.

So after four years or maybe more for some, how can we easily snatch that RPh and own it till death? The answer does not exist actually. It is never easy and will never be. That RPh title is an ass to work for. The production for the recipes to cook it never starts after graduation nor the 1st day of your review. It all started on that very first day when you entered to your first class on that very first semester.

The Preparation

The very first thing you need to do during the preparation is to really decide when to take the exam. And when deciding, please decide with all your heart. Deciding when to take the exam is the rate limiting step of you being a registered Pharmacist. Don’t rush. Plan ahead of dates. Ask yourself if you are ready. Do you need more time? Passing the board exam is not a race. It is not a gamble. Assess yourself. Seek advise to those that can potentially guide and help you.

Passing the board exam is not a race. It is not a gamble.

Look for a review center. I know it demands financial treasure from your clan, but please trust me, it helps, a lot. Choose a review center that you think you are comfortable enough to utilize all the lessons for your advantages.

Collect notes. Hoard. Do not rely only to an individual source. Make sure you have at least two or three to compare and make sure that the notes you are going to study is correct and credible. Try to procure a copy of Shargel’s Comprehensive Pharmacy Review  because this reviewer is a gem. It contains all the basic fundamentals and what to of being a pharmacists. I do have a physical copy and if only I can lend it to you I will but I cant. Sorry. In case you are interested though, just leave a comment below with your email. Maybe we can make some arrangements. 

The Inspiration

Now that you have decided of when to take the board. Look for inspirations. I can still remember a classmate of mine writing in a piece of manila paper the reasons why she needs to pass, highlighted at the top are the words, “To travel wherever I want”. Motivate yourself. Think about your parents or your younger siblings. Think about your future. Set those alarms with titles, “Wake up, you are going to be an RPh!”.

Set those alarms with titles, “Wake up, you are going to be an RPh!”

Focus Is the Word

The very first thing you need to establish to yourself is choosing the best place to study. Where you are most comfortable? Room. Café. Rooftop. You decide. Less distractions is the best option here. Now once the place is set. Keep yourself away from distractions. Get away from those Probinsyano like shows. Stop DOTA. I know it’s hard. I’ve been there but trust me, the fruits for these sacrifices are epic. Uninstall those Candy Crush games from your phone. Trim down all those things that consumes a lot of your time. Stop those How to Get Away with Murder bonanza. If possible lessen the time you are spending on social networks.

Less distractions is the best option

Now once the distractions are addressed. Make a planner. List all the subjects. Organize your plan by grouping it through their corresponding modules. I will be making a separate article for these subjects per module thingy just too highly emphasize each subject’s importance and the key points or critical things you should really know per subject or module. Just look around for that article in this blog.

The Commitment

Set time of how many hours you need to study every day. And on these hours, how many subjects or lessons are you going to read. Also consider that stress is bad. Do not overkill it. Eight hours a day is good. Or you can do it lesser than that as long as you are learning something new every day. Now with these plans and schedules, commit to it. Set goals and reward yourself every goal that you achieve.

Also consider that stress is bad. Do not overkill it.

For example, for this week you need to finish Pharmacology. Seven days, two to three lessons on this subject everyday on the first five days and on the sixth day answer some Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) to assess your learning and also to note those things that you missed. Park them or list them separately, to remind yourself in the future of what you missed on this subject. Now, on the seventh day, reward yourself. Go outside. Have a break or a massage. Watch a movie or something. Enjoy this day because you deserve it. Because on the next day, it is back to business again. Do this over and over again on different subjects. Modify this practice to your maximum advantage.

Mind Your Own

Do not compare yourself to your classmates of to those students from other schools. Do not get intimidated. Mind your own business they said. Focus. Do not compare your scores to theirs. If you get lower scores, don’t be sad, make it as a motivation that you can still do better. If your scores are higher well remind yourself it is not yet enough. The key here is accuracy not precision. Accuracy because you are going to compare yourself to that 100%, perfect score. Never be a precision because the scores of your fellow reviewees will never be a basis of that 100% perfect score of the board exam.

The key here is accuracy not precision.

Believe in yourself. Aim high. Aim to top the board not just to pass . Remember that nothing is impossible. If you miss the moon, don’t worry you will land on stars they said.

Live a Healthy Life

Make sure you have at least eight to seven hours of sleep every day. Eat a balance diet. Especially foods that enhance memory like broccoli. When studying make sure you have enough glucose to feed your brain so that it can function well. Rehydrate always. In the middle of review do not restrict yourself from eating. Go eat, but remember not to eat too much. Nor too much glucose intake also. Sugar rush might, well, make you alert for a moment, but the rebound drowsiness would be a big problem.

Ask for It

He is listening. Ask for it. Work hard for what you are asking from Him and He will definitely grant it. Study hard but pray harder. He works in magical ways that will amaze you. I can still remember when I took the exam, I can hear His voice whispering the answers on my ears. Ask for it. Work for what you asked. He is listening.

Claim It

A week before the board exams or two weeks before, make sure you are still studying. I suggest that by this time you make all the necessary important memorization like the HLB systems, pharmaceutical calculation formulas and scientific names. Because the moment you take the board exam a week after, these things, which are the things that are easily forgotten will still be fresh inside your head. When you do a final review, start with the sixth module down to one. Because modules six, five and four are on the second day of the exams, so you still have extra time to review or refresh these modules after you finish the modules three, two and one on the first day.

Some said that you should relax a day before taking the exams. They said that you don’t have to study anymore. I guess that only applies to some but not to all. If you are a person who can work under pressure then why stop studying a day before? The things you are going to study a day before the exams are the freshest information that you will have when you are already taking the exam. But if you are that kind of person who works best without pressure, then better relax, read notes or PACOP lightly and pray hard.

Study hard but pray harder

Always believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it. That you can pass and ace the exam. Don’t be afraid. Always remember that you prepared for this. That you have studied. As you enter the room, chin up, take a deep breath and tell yourself that you are ready. That you are not scared. Tell yourself, that you are going to be a registered pharmacist few days from now.

Whoever you are, my friend, I wish you all the best and may you always have the confidence and knowledge as you take the board exam. We are waiting for you in the Professional Apothecarian world. Come, help us change the way the society labeled us as Tinderos/Tinderas. Join us, by showing them what a real REGISTERED Pharmacists are.

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